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Question
Posted by: ellen | 2004/03/07

BMI VS BODY FAT PERCENTAGE

I am a 35 year old female with a BMI of 20, WHR of 0.76 and body fat percentage of 30.6! Body fat percentage was measured at Virgin Active on the body IQ machine! Are their measurements correct? What is the relationship and/or difference between BMI and body fat percentage? My height is 170 cm, my weight is 58kg. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Ellen
I find this result for your body fat percentage unbelievable. If your BMI = 20, then you are already below the ideal of 22, for which you would weigh 63 kg, so I cannot see where this fat is supposed to be hiding in your body! According to Prof Tim Noakes in this book 'Lore of Running', normal women (not elite athletes), have an average body fat percentage of about 24%. I your case I would imagine your body fat percentage would be about 24% or even less. I think you should have your body fat percentage re-evaluated at another gym (if you live in Cape Town contact the UCT Sport Centre and in Pretoria contact the UP Sports Science Dept). If your body weight is already on the low side, then I would not worry about body fat percentage, and just do exercise to firm up your muscles and get fit, if you are not already fit and firm.
Best regards
DietDoc

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